Over the last decade and a half, fragrance has probably been the second most difficult topic for me to discuss with friends and family. As a side note, talking about toxic mold and its effects on our health and family life takes first place as the most difficult topic to discuss with family and friends.

Speaking about fragrances and their damaging impact on health has been a cause for friendships and family relationships to be broken. I’ve been cussed out, bullied, and mistreated so many times because of a single word.

Going through these experiences many years ago led me to coin the phrase “Friendship over Fragrance,” Years later, I created a few clothing items with the same phrase.

Why is the word fragrance so controversial? Why do women fight other women so that they can continue harming their bodies with fragrance?

The sad reality is that we have been taught as a society to mask things.

Masking is a much easier solution than getting down to the root cause.

Smelly armpits? Just rub your precious lymph nodes down with cancer-causing petrochemicals. Vaginal odor? No problem, there are perfumed sprays made with endocrine-disrupting chemicals that you can spray down there and feel fresh. Moldy smell at home or in school? Just use toxic plug-in air fresheners to mask the smell of decomposing construction materials instead of eradicating the problem and removing moldy materials. The fragrances used in these nifty products may contribute to infertility, weight gain, respiratory issues, and brain fog, but not to worry, everyone and their mother are using them, so you should too!

All sarcasm aside, we have been taught to mask, cover up, and ignore our bodies. Some do it out of a desire to be fashionable and accepted; others do it out of ignorance.

Whatever the reason, those who use fragrances are doing a massive disservice to their bodies. Dr. Steinemann, a scientist, friend, and expert on fragrances, says, “Fragranced consumer products—such as air fresheners, laundry supplies, personal care products, and cleaners—contain chemicals that are not disclosed to the public.
No law in the U.S. requires disclosure of all chemical ingredients in a consumer product.
No law in the U.S. requires disclosure of any ingredients in a chemical mixture called fragrance.”

Sadly in the U.S., any company can make a perfume or fragranced cosmetic product and label it as safe, non-toxic, all-natural, and even say that it is organic. Why does this happen? Our government has not set up any laws yet which require disclosure of all the chemical ingredients in a consumer product.
In addition to this, there are no laws in the U.S. that require disclosure of the ingredients in any given fragrance.

Why on earth, then, do we think it’s acceptable to use unregulated products made with petrochemicals on our bodies? It’s like spraying diluted gasoline or poison on yourself. It just doesn’t make sense.

Instead of trying to cover up our body’s natural smell, we should be trying to figure out what could be causing the funk we’re trying to cover up. Could it be a lack of water intake, a hidden infection, or lymphatic stagnation? Could it be an unhealthy diet or unknown food allergies?

Could it be that we’re about to start our cycle, and our body odor is different due to hormonal changes? There could be a dozen or more reasons why our bodies smell sweet, acidic, or foul. So many things can impact our body’s internal and external microbiome.

Not only that, but many fragrances are created with chemicals that act like a narcotic. This is done to create a subtle but steady dependency on them. Sound crazy? Check out what Masked Canaries has to say:

“Fragrances contain chemicals that have narcotic-like properties. The substances might not produce a traditional narcotic high, but they do cause dependency, which triggers the need for repeated use of the product to avoid the discomfort and irritability of withdrawal.

In a 1991 study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), benzaldehyde, ethyl acetate, and linalool were identified as having narcotic-like qualities. These chemicals are found in perfume, cologne, hairspray, laundry bleach, deodorants, laundry detergents, Vaseline lotion, shaving cream, bar soap, dishwasher detergent, aftershave, shampoo, nail color, nail enamel remover, fabric softener, dishwashing liquid, and in air fresheners.” Source

Personally, I use herbs and food-based items to care for my skin. I haven’t sprayed a fragranced product on my body in over 15 years. Will you join me and do the same? Can you ditch your toxic love affair with fragrance? It’s not that hard; all it takes is one first step. Switching out a fragranced shampoo for an herbal fragrance-free option could be where you start. Or maybe it’s tossing out your designer perfume and switching to a floral hydrosol. Need suggestions? I offer one on one written and phone consultations where I teach you how to become fragrance-free, how to make herbal personal care products, and how to avoid other harmful ingredients in your day-to-day life.

Did you enjoy this post? Please share it so together we can make a difference. With love, Chemical Free Gal

Click Here to find EO-free makeup and personal care products.

Need to know why I don’t use fragrances and why I don’t recommend that other people use them?
Check out the resources below.

New Publications on fragranced product emissions, essential oils, exposures, and their effects on health by Anne Steinemann Ph.D.
Get The Skinny On Toxic Fragrances in Aveda & Other Beauty Products
Neurotoxicity of fragrance compounds: A review
Acute toxic effects of fragrance products
Why smelling good could come with a cost to health
New Studies by Dr. Anne Steinemann on Fragranced Baby Products, Essential Oils, Indoor Air Quality
New paper provides a link between common chemicals and ‘unexplained’ chronic illnesses
Hidden Hazards In Common Consumer Products & Their Effect On Indoor Environments & Health – Dr. Anne Steinemann Lecture

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